The arrival of the milk american Fairlife on the shelves of Walmart is not a harbinger of what awaits the Canadian Agreement with the United States-Mexico–Canada. It is not yet clear whether we will drink the glass with the milk from our neighbours to the South. And it seems unlikely that we will pay less expensive.
The milk Fairlife, produced by Coca-Cola, is on sale in Canada for a few weeks because of a temporary permit, special 15 months.
It was granted in the meantime that the new plant in Peterborough, Ontario, to be built. Coca-Cola will then use % canadian milk to produce it. Danone had already been entitled to this permit for DanActive.
Moreover, the milk Producers of Quebec do not report this temporary permit. We perceive, that milk, which is rich in protein, lactose-free and less sweet, as a product that can penetrate new markets and increase total consumption of milk, ” said François Dumontier, deputy director, public relations and government relations.
Since the announcement of a new NAFTA, the concerns of the dairy farmers have made headlines. Ottawa has agreed to open 3,59 % of the canadian market for milk and dairy products to u.s. products, but has also promised to compensate the producers.
The agreement is not yet ratified by the three countries. So, for the moment, it is the status quo. And as the texts are not yet final, it is impossible to know in what form will the milk.
Will it be sold as drinking milk 100 % american or even mixed with milk canadian? Will-t-it is only in the processed products, such as cheese, yogurt, or ice cream, in order to lower the costs of production?
“It’s going to be all sorts of products which will reach the United States,” predicts Sylvain Charlebois, professor in distribution and agri-food policy at Dalhousie University. “I have the impression that it is the processed products where there will be a lot of changes, such as cheese, cottage cheese, etc”
But it doubt we’ll see it appear in the milk for consumption ordinary american. “The retail price, except in Quebec, is still low, and in Quebec, the price is regulated. It is for this reason that there is not really a appeal to [the] Americans.”
However, it is important to know that the milks of specialty are not subject to the law, such as lactose-free products, ultrafiltrés or even those who have a plastic cap. So they have no price floor or price ceiling.
But even if the milk american was supposed to land on the shelves, the affection of Canadians for the milk here could play in the balance. The lobby dairy, ” says Mr. Charlebois, “sold the idea that the milk in canada is higher than the milk american. […] And it is for this reason that the Canadians will reject the milk of the non-canadian, for all sorts of reasons-rational and irrational.”
“We will have [milk american], but the question is : “is it going to be a pint american or canadian and is she going to be identified?” It, we don’t know,” says about him, Maurice Doyon, professor at the department of agri-food economics and consumer sciences Université Laval.
“The probability in Quebec, it is that the milk american, I’ll sell it at the price of Quebec, because there is a minimum price”, also notes Mr. Doyon.
The milk Producers of Quebec have not wanted to move ahead on the presence or not of milk consumption in the u.s. on the shelves, as the final texts of the agreement are not available.
“It would be very surprising that there are significant decreases in the retail price”, however, believes his spokesperson, Mr. Dumontier.
This will be rather processors or retailers who will see their profit margins increase in the context. Especially if, as is the case for cheeses with the agreement with Europe, the retailers receive quotas to import them-same with the milk.
“Not only do they make a profit on the sale, and often have a price discount for the purchase of the product, but they also become importers of the product, so they have a double incentive to pack the products in quebec.”
DIFFERENT STANDARDS IN THE BALANCE
Quebecers should they be in fear of the milk american?
Some farms are still using growth hormones banned in Canada, were raised by the different stakeholders. However, the quality of the milk for humans would not be affected.
Rather, these are differences in the treatment of animals or the environmental standards less stringent that could cool consumers.
In this context, it remains to be seen if the consumer will want to buy milk from us if we give him the choice, says Maurice Doyon, professor at the department of agri-food economics and consumer sciences Université Laval.
“It is sure that the standards are very high in Canada and are not applied to products which enter, except if items were problematic for human health,” says François Dumontier, of the milk Producers of Quebec.
These require governments to pay attention to the labeling, so that the provenance of the milk is properly identified.
Currently, processors can use the logo 100% canadian Milk (the little cow) or that of the Producers of milk canadians to indicate that they only use milk from here, but not all.
In Option consommateurs, it also concentrates on the information. “It has to be clear, the origin, it is important for the consumer”, argues Élise Thériault, lawyer and advisor to the budget.
On Wednesday, a petition was circulating (mesopinions.com) to ask for better labelling of dairy products from the United States.